Author: Jessica Manfre
Buying a home is an exciting time! Knowing that you are purchasing a place that will be
completely yours is indescribable. For the military family who has to replant their roots every
two to three years, feeling like they are home is vital. But we need realtors and lenders to help
Every year, upwards of 500,000 military families are relocating. Although a lot of the public
think that military families live on base, only 20% do. The rest choose to rent or purchase
homes and live within their communities. But we aren’t like the typical American family who is
buying a home. Here are some tips to ensuring any military family you work with has the best
experience and recommends you to other military families.
The military member doesn’t have the typical nine to five job, their hours are unpredictable at
times due to their responsibilities. When setting times for showings or for intakes, flexibility is
really important in a realtor or lender. This quality will set you apart from the rest.
Sometimes it isn’t simple
The spouse of the service member may not have continuous employment, due to frequent
moves. Some may even only be working part time if there are children involved. This can make
the loan paperwork a little challenging for lenders, but we appreciate your patience and
understanding. I’ve had loan officers try to talk my husband into not putting me on the loan to
make things simple, despite my credit score being just as high as his. This wasn’t necessary
since my service member’s income was more than enough to cover the mortgage payment, the
lender just didn’t want to do the extra work. We didn’t use them again.
Don’t waste our time
Although we understand this is a business, we know what we want and we don’t have time to
be shown homes or products that don’t fit our lifestyle. Realtors who want to be recommended
to other military families will ensure that they are only showing homes within the price range
sought by the family. Lenders will stick to the loan amount and agreement decided upon.
Military families are on a budget, when we mortgage and home shop, we typically shoot for a
payment that will be around $300 under out basic allowance for housing (BAH). Don’t tell us
about things over that amount. It will not only annoy us, but can be considered predatory when
the military family cannot afford it.
Although we don’t expect lenders and realtors to know everything about military families, we
do expect effectiveness. This means knowing about VA loans, some of our lingo or how to read
our service members LES. These are simple things that will go a long way to not only building
rapport but confidence in your ability to take care of our family.
We have to close on time. When a military family is PCS-ing (moving), everything is structured
and organized in a way to ensure it goes smoothly. We are already stressed about our things
arriving on time and coming in one piece, we don’t need to add more stress with a late closing.
The service member has to report on a certain date and typically only takes a small amount of
leave to set up housing. Timeliness is vital.
The military community talks with each other, constantly. We have social media groups for just
about every area. When a new family gets orders, that’s where they go to ask about lenders,
realtors, and all the things they need to make a smooth transition. You want to be
recommended by military families, not warned away. By following these simple suggestions,
you will be well on your way to earning a rave review.
As a military family, you need home loans specific to your needs. You deserve a trusted home loan company that is committed to serving you. MilHousing Network is proud to partner with Caliber Home Loans, Inc. to bring military families mortgage options when buying a home. Contact them today at 855-202-1124 or visit www.calibermilitarylending.com to learn how they can support your unique military lifestyle.